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Flavanol-rich cocoa improves blood vessel function in aging baby boomer study participants

a offers a dietary approach for maintaining endothelial vessel function, and indicates the possibility that this cocoa could be useful for improving endothelial function in our aging population.

"Aging is typically associated with deterioration in vessel health, specifically related to function of the critical inner lining, or endothelium," said co-author Naomi Fisher, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. "Our findings demonstrate that consumption of this flavanol-rich cocoa can improve the function of blood vessels in a healthy elderly population. More research is needed to see if older adults with cardiovascular disease can also experience these improvements following consumption of this cocoa, but these initial findings certainly offer great promise. These findings have great potential to impact the health of our aging population."

Partially supported by a grant from Mars, Incorporated, this new research builds on a growing body of evidence demonstrating the potential of cocoa flavanols to improve blood flow (or the body's circulation), and perhaps in turn impact long term cardiovascular health. Working in collaboration with premier research institutions throughout the world, Mars has been a leader in unlocking the nutritional and medical potential of the cocoa bean -- with more than 100 peer-reviewed research articles and 80 patents related to flavanols.

"The body of evidence on blood flow-related benefits of cocoa flavanols is impressive," said Harold Schmitz, PhD, Chief Science Officer at Mars, Incorporated. "For the past 15 years, Mars researchers and scientists around the world have been studying cocoa flavanols. This latest research provides additional support for the concept that cocoa flavanols could help reduce the risk, or even offer future treatment potential, for cardiovascular diseases including heart disease and stroke."

In an accompanying editorial, hypertension experts Claudio Ferri, Davide Gr
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Contact: Lori Fromm
lfromm@webershandwick.com
312-988-2436
Weber Shandwick Worldwide
1-Aug-2006


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